Sight and Sound - 03/01/2004
"The masterstroke here is to set Tony Leung's unshaven, jittery, leather-jacketed undercover cop up against Andy Lau's sharp-suited male model..."
"It looks pretty stylish....[With] a sleek, often hallucinatory look, which is both modish and dramatically appropriate."
Rolling Stone - 09/30/2004
"This is a movie that gets it hooks into you early, and no chance is it letting go."
Premiere - 10/01/2004
"[The film] feels completely fresh as it's unspooling onscreen....This is a real grabber."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/01/2004
"The filmmakers entrust the hard work to stars Lau and Leung. And the two men prowl and circle each one another with a balletic intensity that makes words superfluous..."
New York Times - 09/24/2004
"[T]he sophistication of the stylized minimalism here in INFERNAL AFFAIRS is dazzling."
Entertainment Weekly - 02/16/2007
"The first INFERNAL plays like THE DEPARTED on fast-forward; you get dozens of scenes nearly identical to Scorsese's..." -- Grade: A-
Directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, INFERNAL AFFAIRS is a tense thriller featuring Hong Kong superstars Andy Lau and Tony Leung. The film follows the parallel lives of Ming (Lau), a cop who secretly reports to ruthless Triad crime boss Sam (Eric Tsang); and Yan (Leung), an undercover police officer who poses as a Triad member in Sam's gang. For Yan, the years of living in the criminal underworld have taken their toll, and he longs to return to regular police duty. However, the only person who knows Yan's true identity is his mentor Superintendent Wong (Anthony Wong), also the unsuspecting superior of Ming. When Wong's officers come face to face with Sam's gang, both leaders realize there are moles in their midst. Soon Yan and Ming must track each other down, leading to an inevitable confrontation.
Unlike many contemporary Hong Kong films, INFERNAL AFFAIRS steers clear of over-the-top action in favor of a more stylized and subdued story that builds on emotional and psychological tension. Leung is riveting as the undercover cop who desperately wants a normal life, while Lau instills his corrupt character with confidence and charm that mask his deep inner conflict. These two stellar turns are ably supported by veteran actors Wong and Tsang, along with Sammi Cheng and Kelly Chen. A huge blockbluster in Asia, INFERNAL AFFAIRS is a landmark of Hong Kong cinema that deserves the same status abroad.
Hong Kong |
Theatrical Release |
IN THEATRES: SEPTEMBER 24, 2004
Part of the New Directors/New Films 2003 series presented by The Department of Film and Media at the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York City.